Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Symposium #193
CE Offered: BACB
Examining the Predictive Validity of the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure: Three Mental Illness Stigma Studies
Monday, May 30, 2016
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Crystal Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency, Green West
Area: CBM/EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Kail H. Seymour (Southern Illinois University)
CE Instructor: Kail H. Seymour, M.A.

The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) is a behavioral measure originally created to examine derived relational responding. For over a decade, the IRAP has also been used to study a related concept, implicit bias, across multiple domains (e.g., body image, self-esteem, racism, etc.). This computerized measure of response latency has produced results that resemble data from other similar measures that were originally created to assess implicit bias. However, IRAP procedural differences allow a parsing of the experimental stimuli that produces a finer-grain analysis of implicit bias data. Some researchers have used the IRAP to investigate implicit bias related to mental illness. For example, overarching mental illness stigma and social categorization have recently been examined using a combination of both IRAP and self-report data, rather than by self-report data alone. The three presentations herein will discuss whether D-IRAP scores (implicit bias/stigma) predict willingness to interact with people suffering with schizophrenia, posttraumatic stress disorder, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Specifically, participant responding to vignettes about interacting with people who have, and who do not have, these three diagnoses was used to assess the predictive validity of the IRAP.

Keyword(s): Bias, Implicit Responding, Mental Illness, Stigma

Measuring Explicit and Implicit Biases Toward Both Diagnosed and Undiagnosed Schizophrenia: A Predictive Validity Study

TIA RICHARDSON (Southern Illinois Univerity), Kail H. Seymour (Southern Illinois University), Sunni Primeaux (Southern Illinois University), Chad Drake (Southern Illinois University)

This study used self-report measures and the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) to investigate the relationship between explicit and implicit biases towards schizophrenia. The participants from an introductory psychology class at a Midwestern university were randomly assigned to this study. After completing multiple self-reports, the participants read matched vignettes, created by the researchers, about two people struggling with symptoms of schizophrenia. One vignette noted the person as having been diagnosed with schizophrenia, whereas the other contained no such diagnosis. Then, after receiving IRAP instructions, participants completed an IRAP using the names of the people from the vignettes (sample stimuli) and healthy/sick words (target stimuli). Following the IRAP, the participants completed two Social Distance Scales (SDS). The SDS measured the participants willingness to interact with individuals who were specifically diagnosed with schizophrenia and individuals who received no diagnosis. The primary purpose of this study was to assess whether the D-IRAP scores (i.e., implicit bias) are predictive of differences in SDS scores for those diagnosed, and those not diagnosed, with schizophrenia. Data on these issues will be presented and discussed.


Does the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure Predict Interaction With People Suffering From Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder?

JORDEN THOMAS (Southern Illinois University), Kail H. Seymour (Southern Illinois University), Sunni Primeaux (Southern Illinois University), Chad Drake (Southern Illinois University)

This study examined whether certain implicit and explicit bias measures could predict participant interaction with people suffering with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. Participants were sampled from an introductory psychology class at a Midwestern university. Implicit (i.e., automatic) biases were measured using the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP), whereas explicit (i.e., more controlled) biases were measured via self-report questionnaires. After completing several self-report surveys and reading vignettes about people suffering with diagnosed and undiagnosed ADHD, participants completed an IRAP tailored to measure ADHD stigma. After the IRAP, students completed the Social Distance Scale (SDS) to measure willingness to interact with the people from the vignettes. It was hypothesized that D-IRAP and questionnaire scores would reflect stronger stigmatization toward those who carry an ADHD diagnosis compared to those who exhibit ADHD symptomology in the absence of such a diagnosis. Further, it was expected that the D-IRAP scores would better predict willingness to interact with both people who are diagnosed with, and those who are undiagnosed but suffer from, ADHD. Data regarding these issues will be discussed during this presentation.


The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure as a Predictive Measure of Stigmatization Toward Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

ISAIAH THOMPSON (Southern Illinois University), Kail H. Seymour (Southern Illinois University), Sunni Primeaux (Southern Illinois University), Chad Drake (Southern Illinois University)

Stigmatization can negatively impact people suffering from a diagnosed mental disorder. While some stereotypes may be attached to mental disorders in general, particular disorders may have specific stigmas. In previous mental health stigma studies, self-report (explicit bias) measures have assessed the participants attitudes toward a person diagnosed with a particular disorder. However, these measures may not be predictive of the participants behavior toward that individual. The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP), a reasonably reliable and valid measure of implicit bias, may have utility in predicting such behavior. The present study involved (a) administering a number of self-report measures, (b) reading two vignettes about individuals struggling with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), one of which that has been diagnosed as such, (c) an IRAP involving positive and negative words associated with the health of the individuals from the vignettes, and (d) two Social Distance Scales about the people described in the vignettes. Two major hypotheses include that the D-IRAP (implicit bias) scores will reflect stronger, unfavorable stigma toward those with a PTSD diagnosis (versus those with PTSD symptoms that have not been diagnosed with PTSD), and the implicit bias scores will predict social distance scores (i.e., willingness to interact) for both vignettes.




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